Sipho Bujela claimed the 2017/18 Vusi Ngubeni Qualifying School title at Modderfontein Golf Club by a single-stroke to cement a Sunshine Tour card with 14 others for the season ahead.
Bujela finished on 10-under-par for the week after rounds of 71, 65, 67 and 74 to hold off challenges from Gerard du Plooy, Omar Sandys and Eugen Marugi.
‘Those last three holes, they were unbelievable. You know, I couldn’t think of anything but finally I did make it,” he said after a nailbiting finish that went all the way up to the final putt on the 18th green.
‘Omar and Gerard were one shot behind me and Omar hit a really good putt that almost went in. My heart almost stopped there, but I knew if I two-putted I had a chance. I hit it perfectly to a give and I knew I had won this thing,’ he explained.
Sipho Bujela takes the 2017/18 Vusi Ngubeni Q-School title!
— Sunshine Tour (@Sunshine_Tour) January 27, 2017
It was an unusually off day for Bujela, who came off successive rounds in the 60s, and it was the approach shots into the tricky greens at Modderforntein he struggled with.
‘Today I struggled a bit with my strong point, which was my irons. I couldn’t get my distances right. I had lots of long putts on the greens and obviously couldn’t make many birdies from there,’ he said.
Now that he has come away with the win, Bujela will be looking forward to the 2017 season on the Sunshine Tour, with a trip down to Fancourt first up for the 26-year-old.
‘Winning always gives you confidence. I’m very happy with the outcome and I’m looking forward to the events that are coming up. I’ve entered into Di Data at Fancourt so that’s exciting,’ said Bujela.Behind Sandys and du Plooy, Marugi shared fourth place alongside Heinrich Bruiners.
Leorin Pillay, Makhetha Mazibuko, Musiwalo Nethunzwi, Derick Petersen and Siphiwe Siphayi made up the top-10.